Confession & Lament in Christian Soul Care

The Psalms invite us to put our most difficult experiences into words and share them with God. Research on therapy has found psychological benefits from journaling and talking with others who are safe and empathic. The Gideon Institute sponsored a two-track conference where we heard from therapists, pastors, theologians, and sufferers speak about addressing sin and suffering by talking with God and others. It was held on October 29-30, 2021 in partnership with the Julianna Poor Memorial Counseling Center of Houston’s First Baptist Church. Held live at the Downtown campus of Houston’s First Baptist Church, speakers and attendees will be able to attend in-person or online. Access to the video recordings will be sent to registrants or can be purchased below.

Conference tracks:

  1. Therapist Track: Four sessions on Fri afternoon, Oct 29, starting at 12:30pm, & Friday evening at 7pm with singer/songwriter Andy Gullahorn and Christian mental health advocate, Kay Warren.    $100 includes 3 CEUs
  2. Laypersons/Ministers Track: Friday evening at 7pm, Oct 29, with Andy Gullahorn and Kay Warren, & four sessions Sat morning, Oct 30, starting at 8:30am.    $25

Students can attend the entire conference for $25.

The Friday evening concert and talk only, with Andy Gullahorn and Kay Warren, is just $10.

Purchase Conference Recordings

Therapist Track

Confession and Lament in Christian Therapy

Friday, October 29


Rev. Greg Brown, Spiritual Director, Impact 360 Institute Time of Spiritual Preparation, Meditation, and Prayer

11:30am-12:45pm: Lunch on our own

12:30 pm Worship & Welcome

1pm Opening session

Welcome:  Michael Cook, Director of the Gideon Institute of Christian Psychology &  Counseling 

Opening Session:   Eric Johnson & Adam Mason Is It Well with My Soul? Why Confession & Lament are Therapeutic

2pm Workshops for Mental Health Professionals, Session 1

Rick Marrs, Ph.D., LPC, Professor of Pastoral Care, Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis Lament, the Theology of the Cross, and Christian Soul Care in the 21st Century

Natalie K. Pickering, Ph.D., BCC, MISCP, High Places Coaching and Consulting Therapeutic Confession: A Consideration of Barriers, Bridges, Do’s and Don’ts 

Diane C. Lamberson, LCSW-S, Gideon Counseling Center, HCU Hidden Crosses – The Impact of Bearing Burdens Alone on the Body of Christ 

3:00-3:20pm Break

3:30pm Workshops for Mental Health Professionals, Session 2

Paul Loosemore, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Counseling, Covenant Theological Seminary Living with Dandelions: Working with Grief to Facilitate Joy 

William Orme, Ph.D., LP, Methodist Hospital Using Lament in Times of Spiritual Dryness and Desolation

Michael Cook, Ph.D., Director, Gideon Institute of Christian Psychology & Counseling, HCU Confession as a Therapeutic Strategy 

4:30pm Final Session

Chad Bird, Old Testament scholar and truck driver Wounded Prayers: Relearning the Language of Lament 

5:30-7pm Dinner on our own

7pm An evening with musical artist, Andy Gullahorn, & mental health advocate, Kay Warren

Laypersons/Ministers Track

Confession and Lament in the Christian Life

October 29-30

Friday 7pm An evening with musical artist, Andy Gullahorn, & mental health advocate, Kay Warren

Saturday: Confession and Lament in the Christian Life

8:00-8:30am Liturgy of Confession and Lament

Rev. Greg Brown, Spiritual Director, Impact 360 Institute 

8:00-8:45am Donuts and coffee 

8:45-9am A Time of Worship

9-9:50am Opening Session

Welcome: Michael Cook, Director of Gideon 

Chad Bird, Old Testament scholar and truck driver Praying through Hell and Hallelujah

10am Workshops, Session 1: The Bible’s Approach to Sin, Suffering, and Trauma

Ann Ahrens, Ph.D., Professor of Music and Worship Worship’s Unsung Melody: The Place of Lament in the Life of the Church

Mark Talbot, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Wheaton University Breathing Lessons

Gunner Gundersen, Ph.D., Pastor, Bridgepoint Bible Church, Houston, TX; and OT theologian Walking in the Light: Learning to Practice Biblical Confession with God and Others 

11am Workshop 2: Different Kinds of Suffering

Nicolene Joubert, Ph.D., Professor of Christian PsychologyGideon InstituteThe Paradox of a  Christian Suicide and the Impact on Those Left Behind

Kay Warren, Co-Founder, Saddleback Church – Mental Health & Suicide Prevention  Advocate We Were in Marital Hell

Nancy MacDonald, LMFT, Lament in the Midst of Post-Adoption Trauma

Gene Burrus, Ph.D., Pastoral Counselor, Bridgehaven Counseling Associates, Durham, NC Same-Sex Attraction: Pain, Endurance, & Hope

12-12:30pm Lunch provided

12:30-1pmClosing Worship

1:00-2:00pm Final Session    

Wrapping up the conference: Michael Cook 

Adam Mason & Eric Johnson Tears and Resurrections